Monday, October 28, 2013

What Happens over the Winter?

The CSA might be finishing up, but the farm education programs, run by our non profit, certainly are not! Clare will be busy all winter continuing her work with Saul classes. She will be teaching about nutrition and cooking in the classrooms, as well as winter growing in the three hoop houses we have at the farm.
Although the growing slows down tremendously with the colder, shorter days, it does not stop completely. We will still be able to harvest a small amount of food from our hoop houses over the winter. This food will either be sold to the Saul cafeteria, or the Weavers Way produce departments at both co-op stores. Other work on the farm includes infrastructural repairs and organizing/cleaning tools, and our storage buildings, as well as equipment maintenance and spreading compost over the entire field.
Other winter work for me is mostly behind a computer or spent at meetings. I try my best to avoid meetings during the growing season, which means I have to make up for lost time during the winter. Working for a larger organization, Weavers Way Co-op, I have to ensure there is good communication in place for the upcoming season with our finance department, our IT department, or marketing department, our produce department and our communications department. Unfortunately my slow season coincides with the busiest time of year at the stores (near Thanksgiving and Christmas).  Other farm administration consists of ordering seeds, editing our crop map and planting schedule (should we plant more beets next year? If so, where? And how many? And how often?) . My coworkers and I also look at applications for our 2014 seasonal apprentice positions and conduct interviews. We usually attend the PASA (Pennsylvania  Association of Sustainable Agriculture) conference in State College as well. And of course, I will be advertising the 2014 CSA shares and tracking shareholder sign-ups and payments. Despite this long list of winter ambitions, I do manage to take some time off and enjoy a less structured schedule. I usually get my winter fix and spend some relaxing time in Vermont with family and old friends.

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